MENA Update


Latest growth projections, a snapshot of the Spring Meetings, and news on events and preparations ahead of the Annual Meetings in Marrakech.

Economic outlook

According to our latest World Economic Outlook, the global economy’s gradual recovery remains on track, and growth will bottom out this year before rising slightly next year. Our May Regional Economic Outlook (REO) projects that growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will slow to 3.1 percent this year, reflecting tight policies to restore macroeconomic stability, agreed OPEC+ oil production cuts, and the fallout from the recent deterioration in financial conditions. Headline inflation in MENA is set to remain unchanged at 14.8 percent before declining to about 11 percent in 2024. With high projected debt levels and gross public and external financing needs, fiscal and external vulnerabilities are expected to remain elevated in the region’s emerging market economies. For more information, you can watch the REO launch panel discussion, moderated by CNN’s Becky Anderson, at the Dubai International Financial Centre in early May. In addition, you can watch a short video of the report’s key findings and hear key country updates and policy recommendations in our press briefing.

Picture 2

Finally, I encourage you to read our timely analytical chapter on the monetary policy response of MENA countries to the 2021–22 surge in inflation. The chapter finds that the current monetary policy stance is appropriately tight or neutral for many countries using a policy rate, but it needs further tightening in others. The response to the latest inflation shock has been in line with or, in some cases, even more forceful than during previous inflation episodes. Nevertheless, in several countries, monetary policy implementation continues to be undermined by a lack of coordination with fiscal policy or fiscal dominance.

We launched this important REO chapter at the Spring Meetings with a high-level panel featuring Hassan Abdullah (Governor, Central Bank of Egypt), Amer Bisat (Head of Emerging Markets Fixed Income, Black Rock), and Elina Ribakova (Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Bruegel). You can watch the full discussion here.

Spring meetings

As host of the upcoming 2023 Annual Meetings, Morocco had a significant presence at the Spring Meetings. Nadia Fettah, Morocco’s Finance Minister, joined Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on the Global Debate panel, where they discussed the risks of geopolitical fragmentation. Minister Fettah highlighted to the audience that fragmentation was a concern for countries like hers that support international cooperation but suffer from problems created from afar. The MD and Minister Fettah also paid a visit to the Moroccan pavilion and struck up lively conversations with the Moroccan vendors who were showcasing their talents and crafts.

Picture 3

Minister Fettah also joined me in the Governor Talks series, where we discussed Morocco’s diversified economy and the importance of sustaining economic resilience and fostering growth amid recent successive shocks. We also shared the Marrakech 2023 Annual Meetings’ priorities with the audience. You can watch the full talk here or listen to the podcast.

In this year’s Analytical Corner series, MCD presented two research papers. The first presentation looked at the Middle East’s climate mitigation pledges—what they amount to, how fiscal policies can help achieve them, and the intergenerational tradeoffs facing policymakers. The second presentation covered the impact of US monetary policy tightening on the Middle East and Central Asia.

Inclusive growth/youth outreach activities

I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion at the Spring Meetings with young entrepreneurs on digital transformation in MENA. An impressive group of young people shared their journeys in entrepreneurship with us—how they took a simple idea and built a successful business and the difficulties they face in their countries. We also discussed the ecosystem needed to support innovation and the opportunities for structural reform to maximize the benefits of digitalization. You can watch the event here.

That event kicked off a series of other events involving the region’s youth. After the Spring Meetings, I made a quick stop in Rabat to engage with students, academics, policymakers, and civil society on the issues affecting MENA. I also participated in a roundtable hosted by the Policy Center for the New South, where we discussed key policy priorities for the region, including tackling rising vulnerability, preserving debt sustainability, and tightening monetary policy. I made several media appearances with key stakeholders while in the region to discuss various topics, including the key challenges facing the region, Egypt’s and Lebanon’s engagements with the IMF, the Gulf’s economic growth, and the situation in Sudan and neighboring countries. I was also honored to be featured in an article and on the cover of the June edition of Economy Middle East magazine. In my interview, I discussed the REO’s key messages and our latest policy recommendations for the region.

Picture 4

I also participated in an event organized by Université Mohammed V de Rabat on the policy solutions young people in the region believe are needed to promote inclusive growth. This was a great opportunity to hear the students’ perspectives on challenges and opportunities related to their economic prospects and highlight the findings from MCD’s book on promoting inclusive growth in MENA in a post-pandemic world. Click here to watch the event and here to download the book. Our Resident Representatives have since held a series of events on the book with youth in Morocco, Mauritania, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia, and Iraq. We are listening to the voices of young entrepreneurs, students, and activists from across the region to inform our discussions in Marrakech. Some of the young people we meet at our events will also have an opportunity to attend the Annual Meetings.

Trade integration in Africa

A milestone event on the road to Marrakech took place on May 5, when Managing Director Georgieva visited Nairobi to participate in a high-level panel discussion on trade integration in Africa. The panel also featured Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization; Njuguna Ndung’u, Cabinet Secretary of Kenya’s National Treasury and Economic Planning; and Ryad Mezzour, Morocco’s Minister of Industry and Trade. At the event, we launched a joint AFR-MCD departmental paper, Trade Integration in Africa: Unleashing the Continent’s Potential in a Changing World, which explores the potential benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the policies and reforms needed to achieve them.

Picture 5

Fiscal risks in MENA paper launch

At another milestone Marrakech 2023 event on June 11, MCD and the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department launched a new departmental paper analyzing the sources and management of fiscal risks. At a high-level event in Cairo, organized with the Egyptian Ministry of Finance and the Economic Research Forum, Deputy Managing Director Antoinette M. Sayeh was joined by Mohamed Maait, Egypt’s Minister of Finance; Mohamad Al-ississ, Jordan’s Minister of Finance; Adbulrahman Al-Hamidy, Director General of the Arab Monetary Fund; and Abla Abdel-Latif, Executive Director of the Egyptian Center of Economic Studies. You can access the video here, the blog here, and the full paper, Managing Fiscal Risks in the Middle East and North Africa, here.

Preparations well underway in Marrakech

Managing Director Georgieva visited Marrakech in June for a site visit to check on preparations for the Annual Meetings. While in Morocco, she met with key officials, students from five universities, women leaders and influencers, and members of Morocco’s national soccer team and visited the Ait-Ben-Haddou UNESCO World Heritage site, among other activities. On June 19, she attended a high-level policy roundtable, Central Bank Digital Currencies: The Role of the Public Sector in Money and Payments—A New Vision, a Marrakech 2023 event organized by the IMF and Morocco’s Central Bank.

Picture 6

Información extraída de: 



Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Financial advisor showing payments plan to young couple

Estamos listos para resolver sus dudas